Henderson , Harper Lead Bruin Qualifiers at NCAA Outdoor

June 8, 2005

Sacramento, CA - UCLA senior Monique Henderson (400m) and junior Dawn Harper (100m hurdles) led the Bruin women qualifiers on Wednesday during first day action at the 2005 NCAA Outdoor T & F Championships held at the Alex G. Spanos Complex in Sacramento (attendance-4,017). The weather was moderate with rain.

Henderson, the No. 1 seed (50.78, No. 5 in the world this season) in the 400m who won the event at the NCAA West Region and Pac-10, won heat three and her winning time of 51.56 was the top mark of the day. Trailing Henderson (Nos. 2/3) were Florida's Tiandra Ponteen (51.85) and South Carolina's Stephanie Smith (52.43) The women's 400m semis are Friday and the final is Saturday.

'I was just looking to qualify,' said Henderson, the school record holder with a personal-best time of 50.53. 'With the rain, I knew the times were not going to be that fast. I wanted to run a time that was in the top two. I just wanted to get it done today - to run 51-mid to 51-high.'

Looking ahead to Friday's semis, Henderson said - 'I want to run a technically sound race - to run the race the way I've been coached and the good times will come'

Harper, who placed second in the 100m hurdles at both the Pac-10 and NCAA West Region meets, advanced to Friday's final by running well in Wednesday's two qualifying races. In the semi-final (heat two), she placed second (12.91, -0.6w, tied personal-best) and her mark was the third best overall - behind USC's Virginia Powell (12.73/heat one winner) and Nebraska's Priscilla Lopes (12.85/heat two winner). In the preliminary, Harper won heat four (13.23, -0.4w/3rd-best overall mark). The women's 100m hurdle final is Friday.

'Today's strategy was to run my rounds and make it to the final,' Harper said. 'Stay strong in the blocks and advance. There was no time pressure (running a good mark) on me today. I've run two races in one day (before this), and I can do it again.'

In other Bruin qualifying results on Wednesday-

-Discus-sophomore Kamaiya Warren, who won this event at the Pac-10, had the 3rd-best throw overall (175-2) and advances to Friday's final. Senior Lara Saye had the 13th-best overall mark (162-11) and just missed qualifying (top 12 advance). Saye, the No. 3 seed (188-0, No. 8 in school history) coming into the meet, in 2005 in the discus, placed fourth at the NCAA West Region and fifth at the Pac-10. She earned All-American honors in the event in 2002 as a sophomore.-Long Jump - senior Candice Baucham, who was second in this event at the NCAA West Region and Pac-10 meets, placed third in flight one (20-7, 1.2w). Her leap was the sixth-best overall and she advances to Thursday's final. Baucham is also competing in the triple jump (qualifying is Friday).

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